If you’ve been craving more of Google’s Material Design in your life then you’re in luck, as it has recently been discovered that several experimental features are available for the company’s Chrome browser. Material Design has been a big part of bringing consistency across Google’s many platforms in the form of easy to read and use UI elements. In fact, Chrome OS and some portions of the Chrome browser experience have seen many updates that incorporate the standard. However, the design features have been much slower to roll out to the Chrome browser. That, of course, doesn’t mean the company hasn’t been hard at work to rectify the situation. If you are comfortable tweaking some advanced settings, you can get a glimpse of what’s to come thanks to the recent reveal from François Beaufort.
More specifically, Beaufort points to a setting that brings Material Design to the browser’s extension page, which he revealed through Google Plus on March 7th, though it’s also worth noting that access is through the latest Developer build of Chrome. As pointed out by other users and commenters across the web, the Material Design features have been available for some time – even on the most prominently used stable channel – but such features mostly go unnoticed unless a user knows where to look. Turning experimental features on for Chrome is not necessarily straight forward since they are generally intended for more advanced users and require users to access hidden menus. In the case of Chrome, hidden settings menus can be accessed via the URL bar. Navigating to the address chrome://flags/#enable-md-bookmarks redirects to settings relating to material design in the browser. At first glance, the experimental features menu associated with material design settings may seem daunting. Most of the settings will be set to a “Default” selection and it should be pointed out that it is probably not a good idea to go through just randomly flipping features off or on. It also bears mention that because they are experimental, the features are not final and may be updated or even removed without any prior notice.
That said, Material Design in the extensions page itself looks and functions very similarly to how it works in other places, such as Google Now for Android. The various extensions are displayed as separate cards in a grid and it is much easier to see which settings are active than with the traditional list view. Each extension is easily toggled on and off with a switch, as opposed to the hyperlink method used previously. The feature also appears to be completely stable, so users looking for even more may want to take a look at the other experimental Material Design features as well.